The BMV or a court may suspend your driving privileges for a number of different reasons. This could spell disaster if you depend on your driving privileges for important matters. Fortunately, under certain circumstances, state law (IC 9-30-16) authorizes an “Indiana hardship license,” otherwise known as probationary privileges, specialized driving permits, or (more formally), specialized driving privileges (SDP).
The DUI attorneys at Stracci Law Group can help you persuade the court to issue you specialized driving privileges. Call (219) 525-1000 or contact us online for a comprehensive evaluation. We serve clients throughout Northwest Indiana, including Crown Point, Valparaiso, and Gary.
Am I Eligible For Specialized Driving Privileges In Indiana?
On January 1, 2015, Indiana changed its driving laws to overhaul the process for obtaining specialized driving privileges. The new system makes it much easier for drivers with suspended licenses to obtain special permission to drive to work, school, medical appointments, or drop off at school.
You may be eligible for specialized driving privileges under the following circumstances:
- Indiana has named you a Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV) for accumulating two judgments resulting in injury or death over a 10-year period.
- Indiana has permanently suspended your driving privileges (for life).
- Your license is subject to an administrative suspension (for failure to carry auto insurance, for example).
- A court (rather than the BMV) has suspended your driver’s license (for OWI, for example).
Certain circumstances will render you ineligible for specialized driving privileges (see FAQ section below).
How To Apply For Specialized Driving Privileges
The procedure differs slightly depending on whether it was the BMV or a court that suspended your license. Either way, you must submit a petition featuring the following:
- Your affirmation that the information on the petition is true;
- Your address and date of birth;
- The reason why you need to drive; and
- Where you need to drive.
You must file the petition in the court in your county. If you don’t live in Indiana, file in the county where you received your most recent moving violation. The petition must also be served on the BMV and the prosecutor.
If a court ordered the suspension, you must file the petition with that court. The prosecutor must appear in court and argue Indiana’s position on your petition. Since a judge is entitled to turn down your petition for any reason, you are going to need a hardship license attorney experienced in criminal defense.
Why You Need A Defense Lawyer Experienced In Obtaining Hardship Licenses
A DUI attorney can help you persuade a court to partially restore your driving privileges because DUI attorneys routinely handle SDP petitions. Our attorneys have successfully petitioned for specialized driving privileges on behalf of a multitude of clients.
Don’t try to handle your petition on your own because even a small mistake can sink your petition. It will be up to us to persuade the judge that turning down your SDP petition will cause you and your family extreme hardship.
Freedoms You Get With Specialized Driving Permits In Indiana
The grant of specialized driving privileges is not a blanket reversal of the suspension of your driving privileges. Instead, it is a partial lifting of restrictions based on your individual circumstances. It might allow you, for example, to:
- Drive to and from work or school (a court order might even specify the route);
- Take your children to school and pick them up after school;
- Go to doctor’s appointments;
- Meet with your probation officer or attend court hearings; and
- Handle other necessary matters.
The court might require you to purchase insurance and obtain FOrm SR-22, or it might require you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
How Our Lawyers At Stracci Law Group Can Help You With a Special Driver's Permit
Our specialized driver’s license lawyers can help you in many ways. If you have been charged with OWI, for example, the court will send a suspension notification to the BMV. We will quickly attempt to secure an agreement with the prosecutor to expedite the process.
When such an agreement isn't possible, we will notify the court at (or before) your initial hearing of our intention to file a Petition for Specialized Driving Privileges. The court will schedule a hearing, at which time we will ask the court for an order permitting you to continue driving under certain conditions.
Let Our Lawyers Fight For Your Specialized Driving Privileges Today
Time will not wait for you - you must act decisively if you want to find out if you are eligible for specialized driving privileges. If you succeed, the news is good - under Indiana law, any grant of specialized driving privileges must last for at least 180 days, long enough to make a real difference. We might even be able to get you a waiver of reinstatement fees.
The Indiana specialized drivers license lawyers at Stracci Law Group serve clients from all over Northwest Indiana, including Crown Point, Hammond, Gary, Portage, Merrillville, and Valparaiso. Contact us today at (219) 525-1000 or complete our online contact form for a free case evaluation.